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SAVE THE DATE & Call for Summit Planning Committee

The Network is pleased to announce the

8th National LGBTQ Health Equity Summit

*Formerly the National LGBTQ Tobacco Summit*

Bridging the Gap

Promising Practices in LGBT Health and Tobacco Control

August 14, 2012

Kansas City, MO

As an official Ancillary meeting to the National Conference on Tobacco or Health, the 8th National LGBT Health Equity Summit (Formerly the National LGBT Tobacco Summit) addresses promising practices in LGBT Health and Tobacco control. The Summit is designed to leave participants with tools and strategies to advance their movement in their local communities. We have a page on our blog for summit details which can be viewed by clicking here.

With a little under a year to plan we are reaching out to all of you to bring together a core group of individuals to help in the planning process. The Planning committee will be responsible for reviewing abstracts, scholarship applications, developing the agenda, etc.

If you are interested in being a part of the planning committee please email by Friday, September 9, 2011 and we will get back to you shortly to arrange the first call. As a grassroots event, the summit would not be a success without your voices…

More details regarding the Summit to come…


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PopCtr Mtg: Panel Discussion on Probability and Non-Probability Methods

Scoutby Scout
Director, Network for LGBT Health Equity
A project of The Fenway Institute in Boston, MA

SCIENCEBABBLE ALERT – This is a meeting for scientists, despite my efforts, some of this may get technical.

411 on the issue

Probability sampling = getting a group of people for your research that is statistically proven to be a random selection from the full population of interest, thus the statistics support you being able to draw conclusions for the full population based on the info from this random subgroup. (Like if 50% of your probability sample of LGBT people parachute, you can confidently say 50% of all LGBT people parachute.)

Non-probability sampling = any non-random sample of people. (Like if you do a survey at pride, it’s a non-probability sample.) Unfortunately, the statistics then do not support being able to generalize these findings to the full population, because there’s a chance bias might have snuck in. (Like, maybe pride participants aren’t as closeted as other LGBT people, so even if 50% of your sample are in LGBT parachuting clubs, you can’t say 50% of all LGBT people are in such clubs.)

Why’s this a big issue? Probability sample data is the gold-standard for drawing conclusions, but we have much less of this for LGBT people, mostly because LGBT measures aren’t included on the monster federal surveys that are the big probability studies.

Panel Members:

  • Dan Kasprzyk, Ph.D. Vice President of NORC (which I realize is so well known as one of 2 fanciest survey shops that his bio doesn’t even say what NORC stands for… so just know, NORC=surveys)
  • Melissa Clark, Ph.D. Brown University Department of Community Health
  • Margaret Rosario, Ph.D.
  • Jeffrey Parsons, PhD. Hunter University

The Panel

Dr. Kasprzyk led the panel off talking about some of his interesting experiences as part of the Institute of Medicine committee for the recent LGBT report. He emphasized that the choice of probability or non-probability might really not be as important as the reporting and impact of any well-designed study, regardless of the methods chosen. Then he moves onto talking about the federal surveys. “If the federal gov’t added LGBT measures to the American Community Survey, then allowed oversampling, that alone would allow the community to target populations, whether it’s regional, city, rural, you name it, and we’d be much better off. But we have to go beyond NHANES, you have to get on other surveys, NHIS and especially the Labor Force Survey would be very valuable.” He emphasized how important it was to get measures on these large full-probability surveys, “because otherwise you remain invisible.”

“Probability data is very important, it is the gold standard, in Washington, that’s what people are going to listen to. I think the real advancement in healthcare policy comes from really pushing hard with the federal government to have these questions on those surveys, and that point cannot be diminished. I think it’s really important that we actually stay focused on the federal government and become part of that health policy debate.” Dr. Kasprzyk

Dr. Clark followed (that’s Melissa to you and me) and led off by echoing all of Dr. Kasprzyk’s points. She says “”That’s usually how I end every talk I give about sexual minorities, I say ‘please help us get these questions added.'” She talked about her experience at Brown University and how much she’s been working to try to get the non-LGBT researchers to include LGBT measures. Through this effort, she’s managed to take one of the IOM report recommendations and institutionalize it, “Now when there’s a new study, people have to either include sexual minorities or explain why they are not.” Kudos to Melissa, let’s hope NIH follows suit!

Next up was Margaret Rosario. She warns us that while probability samples are important, most of our real explanatory data will come from non-probability samples because they are so much cheaper they have more latitude to go much deeper into issues, explore causal models, etc. For her, the bottom line is either approach can be useful, it’s often an issue of cost, if we have the chance to do the higher costs full-probability samples, excellent, if not, let’s just do excellent non-probability studies. Lastly she also weighs in on the importance of getting LGBT measures on the large surveys, “For the probability studies, please please, whatever we can do to get questions on there, do be able to identify the population as best we can, we should definitely do that.”

The panel was rounded out by Jeff Parsons. He talked about how it always seems there’s a flavor of the day at NIH for the newest rage for sampling, some of which are just never really viable in the field. “You can’t just count every 9th person who goes in the bar and pull them for the study, it doesn’t work.” Tonda Hughes from UIC echoes that sentiment, noting that the popular method, Respondent Driven Sampling, has never worked for her in samples of women.

As the discussion opens up to audience comments, there’s an interesting suggestion from Jim McNally, a director at ICPSR (the Intra-university Consortium of Political and Social Research, probably the largest data library in the country). one of the University of Michigan (ICPSR) scientists… “We recommend people work to create a small strong full probability sample and then ask the same questions you have on the federal surveys. That way you have policy strength to compare to the federal questions.”

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Center for Population Research in LGBT Health Holds Annual Convening

Scoutby Scout
Director, Network for LGBT Health Equity
A project of The Fenway Institute in Boston, MA

My Non-Sampling Error Experience

Ok, I’ve fled from the very exciting Netroots Nation conference to get back to Boston because today and tomorrow mark the 3rd annual convening of one of The Fenway Institute’s other major initiatives, the Center for Population Research in LGBT Health. Not only does this mean I get to hang with some of my farflung friends for two days, not only does it mean the largest gathering of trans health researchers I’ve seen, not only does it mean I get to meet many upcoming researchers involved in the mentorship program, but right now, it’s also the biggest meeting about LGBT research that occurs each year.

I came a little late, so am jumping in as the head of one of the most prestigious survey centers in the country, Dan Kasprzyk of NORC, weighs in on issues related to LGBT sampling. (He was just talking about a non-sampling error experience.) So, I’m going to focus more on the actual content now… but just wanted to start off by giving you a little bit of context to the meeting, because this is a really cool project.

Abstract of Center for Population Research in LGBT Health Project

Previous studies have shown that sexual and gender minorities have higher prevalence of life-threatening physical and mental health conditions, experience significant barriers to health care quality and access, and face substantial threats to quality of life. Population-based research is necessary to more fully understand the causes of these disparities, so that effective responses can be developed. The proposed project’s long-term objective is to create a sustainable capacity for population studies and the translation of results into practice models for sexual and gender minorities. This 5-year effort will be conducted by the Fenway Institute, supported by the Research and Evaluation Department of Fenway Community Health (FCH), a Federally-Qualified Community Health Center. FCH provides comprehensive primary health care and mental health services annually to 11,000 neighborhood residents and students in nearby colleges and to LGBT persons, primarily from Greater Boston. Approximately 55% of patients self-identify as LGBT, reporting sexual or gender minority behavior and/or identity. The project has the following specific aims to develop the infrastructure for population research regarding the health of sexual minorities: (1) develop and support a multidisciplinary faculty to advance the study of sexual and gender minority populations, (2) create a shared research library, to include selected population-based datasets and findings from a large clinical dataset, and (3) disseminate the products of our work through the internet, a monograph, and peer-reviewed journal articles.  A team of researchers with diverse qualifications has been assembled to address these specific aims, with the assistance of a National Advisory Board of experienced population scientists and technical experts. The input and collaborative work of these researchers will lead to a common framework for multidisciplinary scholarship that advances understanding of sexual minority populations and how social, cultural, and institutional factors influence their health. This work will provide a foundation for culturally competent treatment approaches and behavior change models for sexual minorities.

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Breaking News! NY Hospitals Announce Mandatory LGBT Cultural Competency Trainings

Scoutby Scout
Director, Network for LGBT Health Equity
A project of The Fenway Institute in Boston, MA
Reporting from Bellevue Hospital, NY

I’m down here in NYC and very, very happy to be at the press conference where New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation just announced mandatory LGBT cultural competency training for all their 37,000 employees! They also debuted the excellent new LGBT cultural competency video created by our friends at the The National LGBT Cancer Network. The Cancer Network created the full training to be administered to every NYC hospital employee, both the trainings and video are available for purchase or replication. (Don’t forget, the National LGBT Cancer Network is also our collaborator in our brand new LGBT Wellness NYC Marathon team.)

To have the head of all NY public hospitals reinforce that LGBT cultural competency trainings are a mandatory part of good healthcare is historic, let’s hope other cities and hospitals soon follow! See their press release here.

L to R: NYC Councilman Daniel Dromm; Liz Margolies, ED of National LGBT Cancer Network; NYC HHC President Alan D. Aviles, NYC Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs, and HHC doctor.

Even HHS Secty Sebelius weighed in on what a big deal this is:

“I applaud the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation for its leadership in ensuring LGBT patients are treated with the respect and dignity we all deserve. HHC has offered a path to a fairer America and HHS looks forward to seeing other efforts from care providers from around the country toward that same goal.”

We were also live-tweeting from the event with all play-by-play tweets on @lgbttobacco and @lgbthlthequity with some major help from friends on the ground @cathyrenna and @RennaComm, so check out updates there.

The video shown features the stories of several LGBT people who have experience bias in hospitals and in the healthcare system. You may have already seen an article about these trainings in Huffington Post, and an excerpt of the powerful video can be seen here:

Let’s hope the news spreads fast and other hospital systems follow suit.

See more press about this in:

  1. Advocate Magazine: NYC Hospitals Adopt LGBT Competence Training
  2. New Hospital Program Addresses LGBT Health Woe
  3. New York Times Blog: For Public Hospital Employees, New Training on Gay Patients
  4. NY1: New Program Attempts To Eliminate Barriers For LGBT Patients
  5. Rainbow Access Initiative: Breaking News! NY Hospitals Announce Mandatory LGBT Cultural Competency Trainings
  6. University of Arkansas for Medical Science: Center for Diversity Affairs to Sponsor LGBT Cultural Competency Strategies Webinar

National Network Meeting Reflection

by Emilia Dunham,
Program Associate

As I posted before, I am privileged to be in Atlanta for the National Tobacco Prevention Networks Meeting. This is my first time traveling for the Network, and I must say that it’s been such a pleasure as much as it’s been a tremendous amount of information to soak in.

From my last post, I described the themes I saw emerging from updates/presentations from each Tobacco Control Network which has proven to be evidenced by strong collaboration between each Network.

I still remember when I first found out about the six tobacco disparities networks. I had assumed that they were in competition with each other in some way, perhaps in an attempt to be outdo each other in terms of successes, national reach and quality/quantity of ongoing projects. I quickly found that was certainly not the case, and realized from the meeting today that just the opposite is true. I don’t believe I have ever seen as strong of collaborations between organizations as I have with these six networks. For instance, each discussed plans for learning from the social media campaigns of each other in addition to broader goals for collaborating on the intersecting issues of each of the Networks. I have learned an incredible amount from each Network.

These Networks proved that there is no reason to shy from working on projects together. Each Network is incredibly empathetic to each other’s goals and missions, and it’s extremely inspiring seeing the true passion and commitment each Network brings to the table. They aren’t just collaborators; they are colleagues; they are friends; they are family. Most importantly, they are our advocates. Together they represent the most affected tobacco disparities in the United States, and they are working relentlessly to selflessly remove these disparities. So I can say that I’m proud to be a part of the great work that this team of Networks has been leading for years (in some case decades.)


Eldin the Cabbie: Wellness Policy Savant

by Scout

Stay tuned, Institute over but more posts to come

It’s been a busy week with posting to the blog, but stay tuned, it’s not done. We still have a few more posts to finalize about lessons from the Tobacco & Diabetes Training Institute 2010, and today our team splits forces to head into 2 more meetings, I’ll be up in DC meeting with Secretary Sebelius and members of the new HHS Task Force on LGBT Health, while Gustavo and Emilia stay in Atlanta to attend the all-day tobacco disparity network planning day. So stay tuned for blogs on all.

Eldin the amazing

How did it start? I jumped into the cab to race to the airport and I think my cabbie warned me about his New York style driving but next thing you know he’s launching on a world class high volume rant about how we’re messing up health in this country. Crazy part was, he’s like a policy savant, nailing every single problem us fancy wellness folk are trying to prioritize.

Eldin on city planning for health

“Now New York has it right, in NY you can walk everywhere. Now look at Atlanta downtown, go down after dark, do you see anything? No! And it’s dangerous. They need to build more stores in those big buildings, so people can have something to walk to at night.” Right on Eldin. “And look at it here.” We’re zipping through Atlanta sprawl-lands. “Those people can’t go anywhere without their car. They can’t even walk anywhere at all. Now in New York, you can walk for hours. And do you wanna know how many different juristictions we just went through? Four. All of those places have to agree to do anything new.”

Eldin on exercise

“And what about bicycles? We’re driving through a park right now, you see any people biking or even walking? You used to use your bicycle to go places, but now you have to put it in your car before you can get anywhere safe to bike, and then we don’t, we just don’t even use our parks. Now think if you were in New York City now, how many joggers would you see in Central Park?” I admit, plenty. “Yah, we don’t even use our parks here, it’s such a shame.”

Eldin on diet

“And look around you, have we passed any grocery stores at all?” No sir. “You see, where are you supposed to even get vegetables. Yet you wanna know what’s one block that way? Lines of fast food restaurants all the way into Atlanta. What is that stuff? It’s all fried. There’s no vegetables in it. People don’t even know to eat them any more. That’s why we’re all fat. Now back in Haiti when I was a boy, whenever my mama was pregnant, my grandma would be cooking spinach and greens for months because that made your blood strong. But here, where do you even find them?”

Eldin on tobacco

I tell Eldin one of the tidbits I learned at the training, that part of the aid we sent to Haita after the quake included cigarettes.  He’s incensed, “Like they can eat that? I mean people are going to do what they’re going to do, but we’re growing enough tobacco there already. We used to grow lots of our own food, now other countries keep teaching us how to get rid of our farms and buy things from companies instead. But none of it is healthier!”

“This country is messed up!”

“And it’s going to take a long time to fix!” Eldin finishes with a flourish. He’s gotten all worked up and I sigh thinking, yup, it’s going to take a lot of time to make it simpler for people stuck in the car wilds of Atlanta sprawl to have easy access to routine exercise. Back in my doctoral program I remember wondering why the World Health Organization had Transportation as one of their top 10 social determinants of health, now that link is becoming crystal clear. (I’m not even counting how naïve me thought their listing of Food as another major determinant of health was mostly about famine, not feasting. Ha!)

New health care reform prevention council

But change is afoot from top to bottom here. The passing of health care reform, also known as ACA or Affordable Care Act is setting some big pieces in motion to focus on wellness and prevention nationally. A large step is the creation of a new Prevention Council filled with cabinet members from all over government. And no, it’s not just filled with people from Health and Human Services, but with the head of the EPA, Dept of Transportation, Dept of Agriculture, etc. Folk realize we need changes at all these levels to clear the path to make it easy to be healthy in our country. Nicely, in the first report of this council, they are also naming sexual orientation (crossing fingers for gender identity soon) as a disparity population! So, I’m looking forward to this new top level coordination to change systems and the from-the-getgo inclusion of LGBTs. I know they’re putting together an attached community advisory council, I sure hope we have LGBT health experts on it. And I think we should have Eldin too!


National Networks for Tobacco Control Meeting

by Emilia Dunham, Network Program Associate

I had the joy of attending the annual National Networks for Tobacco Control meeting in Atlanta, GA.

In the morning, the six Networks funded by the Center for Disease Control. These Networks are similar to the LGBT Network in that they all focus on a special population in tobacco control. As each Network presented on its goals, activities and directions, I found that one of the major themes that emerged was that of the strong collaboration echoed over and over by each Network. Below are the six Networks and some of the major collaborations as well as unique projects of each Network.

National Latino Tobacco Control Network NLTCN

Break Free Alliance (low Socio-Economic Status)

National African American Tobacco Prevention Network (NAATPN)

Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy and Leadership (APPEAL)  PROMISE (Promising practices that are Replicable, Obtainable, Measurable, Innovative, Sustainable and Empowering) Network APPEAL

Network for LGBT Tobacco Control.)


  • National Latino Tobacco Control Network is partnering with Break Free Alliance (low SES tobacco control) on smoke-free prisons (large population of Hispanic/Latinos) as prisoners are hard to reach and have extremely high smoking rates (98%) who continue smoking after release
  • NLTCN is partnering with Network for LGBT Tobacco Control on addressing LGBT hate crimes in Puerto Rico, incorporating LGBT issues in BRFSS and sharing Steering Committees members to advocate for both communities
  • NLTCN is writing a Promising Practices on Faith and advocacy, and is planning to work with NAATPN.
  • NAATPN has worked with national partners to host a National Conference on Menthol
  • Break Free Alliance, with assistance of NLTCN is developing papers and informational materials translated into Spanish
  • Break Free Alliance is working on a Resource Library with help of other Networks
  • Fundraising Event of APPEAL joined by Network members celebrating 15 strong years
  • APPEAL is working with partners on case studies of communities to be applied to similar communities
  • All National Networks are working on website and social media. The National Network website will be having new attractive features like videos, links and newsletters

Unique Concerns/Projects of the National Latino Tobacco Control Network (NLTCN)

  • Working with Texas which is the only state in the U.S. with a high Hispanic/Latino population with no Clean Indoor Act
  • Need to raise awareness at federal level
  • Translating tobacco control documents
  • Low education of community means social media is difficult, so they focus on novellas/brochures

Unique Concerns/Projects of Break Free Alliance

  • Position papers on tobacco taxes and their impact on Populations of Low Socioeconomic Status (SES) in that funds collected from taxes go back to Low SES community
  • Addressing smoking in homeless community by completing an assessment of national community action agencies and the National Healthcare for the Homeless Council

Unique Concerns/Projects of the National African American Tobacco Prevention Network (NAATPN)

  • Nominated the first African American to the North American Quit-line Consortium Board of Directors
  • Data collection on race/ethnicity on quitlines is sparse, challenging policy advocacy campaigns
  • Legacy Scholars are working with historically black colleges and churches to determine current smoke-free policies and whether they need assistance.
  • Speaking on radio and television shows, both mainstream and those with majority Black audiences

Unique Concerns/Projects of the National Native Commercial Tobacco Abuse Prevention Network (NNCTAPN)

  • Work with both Inter-tribal Councils, and tobacco control programs
  • Tribes have their own culture making outreach a struggle
  • Tobacco is a sacred medicine, so they differentiate with commercial tobacco
  • Many tobacco control policies exclude Native American reservations and owned businesses (casinos)
  • Have done tobacco control trainings among Native American communities and organizations
  • Implementing system approach health centers to second-hand smoke among Native Americans

Unique Concerns/Projects of  Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy and Leadership (APPEAL)  PROMISE (Promising practices that are Replicable, Obtainable, Measurable, Innovative, Sustainable and Empowering) Network APPEAL

  • On a Legislative level, APPEAL advocates for Guam’s tobacco tax
  • Working with Asian Human Services benefits for smoking employees
  • There are separations between various ethnicities, which necessitates innovative facilitation
  • Cultural forms of tobacco use is outside of traditional tobacco control policy

Of course you know the Network for LGBT Tobacco Control. From our policy work, state cultural competency technical assistance, resource library connections and unique social media campaigns, we are further positioning ourselves for our work in the future. To learn more, you’ll have check out more of our blog for more specifics!


Institute 2010: Closing Keynote – Behavior Change Lessons from Dr. Jeffrey Koplan

by Scout

Change is always happening

The Institute still has a half day of classes, but we’re having our closing keynote now by Dr. Jeffrey Koplan, former director of CDC.

Dr. Koplan takes us into a time machine first, has us remember 30 yrs ago to help us see how much behavior change really is possible. He talks about the hospitals with clouds of smoke in them, the drivers who never wore seat belts, how many of us are trying to exercise at least a few times a week, drinking lower fat milk, and how fewer of us are having unprotected sex with stranger. (Well, ok, no one in the room raised their hands when he asked if any of us had unprotected sex with a stranger last night, but that could be an example of social acceptability response bias. Ahh the vagaries of data collection.)

Tobacco as an infectious disease

While tobacco isn’t an infectious organism, Dr. Koplan brings up how the model of tobacco use is actually really similar to the model of infectious disease transmission. This resonates with me a lot, I’ve watched my friends in Providence smoke more simply because a popular person in their circle smokes more in front of them. I really feel tobacco is a Socially Transmitted Disease (STD), and looking at it as such helps us understand when and how folk smoke. In Dr. Koplan’s analysis, the relatively steady rate of 19% smoking in US is just waiting for tobacco control folk to blink, then it’ll move right back up.

Soberingly, there are a billion male smokers in the world and 250M female smokers. Some countries are where the U.S. was in the 1950s, with high prevalence rates, high tobacco production rates, and little to no tobacco control activity. Dr. Koplan posits that hopefully the faster transmission of behaviors and behavior changes across the world now might help these countries speed through the social arc from the 50s to the 2010s in less than the 60 years it took the U.S.

Eating, eating, eating, and not moving

Majority of states have over 25% of their adults with their BMI over 30 (i.e. obese) and in 9 states 30% of the adults have BMI over 30. Obesity truly is an epidemic in the U.S. And no, it has nothing to do with genes, it has to do with our behavior. The impact of this will be with us for generations. Interestingly, obesity spreads like an epidemic too, if you look at the BMI of people in Mexico, it goes up the closer you get to the U.S. border. He notes that so much of this lack of physical activity is related to our environment, as evidenced by how people in large cities with public transportation systems are more physically fit than people who live in suburban style sprawl cities or communities. If it’s hard for people to fit exercise into their routine day, they don’t exercise as much. (I hear those New Yorkers giving little snorts as I write.)

No marathon runners or whippets

The impact on our health of the triple threat of tobacco, diet and exercise cannot be overestimated. But Dr. Koplan urges us to be realistic, we’re taking on the largest health issues of our day, but we don’t need to make giant changes, sometimes small feasible changes can really make a big difference. Reminds me of one of the studies brought up in the opening plenary, from the book Switched, where a series of ads showing one glass of whole milk equaled the fat in five slices of bacon increased the skim milk use from 14-40% in just a few months.

Believe in desserts

Of course it’s slightly odd that his whole talk was given while we were munching, munching, munching on our lunches. Dr. Koplan urges us to not only believe in the strength of the impacts we’ll make, but to stay focused on motivating ourselves to keep up the good work, in this case…or in other words, believing in dessert!

P.S. Believe in collaborations

While last Fall CDC brought together the tobacco and wellness folk working on Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) awards, this is the first time the state tobacco and state diabetes folk have had a conference together. After Dr. Koplan closes the head of diabetes at CDC gets a huge round of applause from everyone in appreciation for having this institute be a new collaboration between related areas of health. And she urges us all to continue to cross-pollinate these issues by presenting at allied conferences for each issue.

CPPW · NatNet · Tobacco Policy

Nutrition, physical activity & tobacco? Bring it on!

Using the bike to draw the interest of the diet and nutrition folk!

by Scout

Network Director
Doctuh Scout looking ever so "cool" at the CDC conference.

CDC’s Wellness Conference + hotmath

This is it folk, the first time ever CDC has convened not just the state tobacco control staff from around the country, but our new partners in the latest greatest health mashup, the nutrition and exercise folk too! So it seems like hot new math for health folk is the following.

Tobacco + Exercise + Nutrition = Wellness!!!

And of course ya really wanna understand the new math for health folk at a national and local level, it seems like maybe I should correct it to be the following.

(Tobacco + Exercise + Nutrition)policy = Wellness policy

Yup, it’s all about policy these days. Why? Well, after some great charts this morning (which I should write more about later) it seems to boil down like this… policy changes health behaviors in a way that all the good information in the world can’t seem to affect. Ok, take it even further, money appears to change health behavior in a way good information and intentions can’t. How? Well, for example we see that smoking rates are incredibly affected by taxes on cigarettes. One of the new things you might see coming to you soon are policy campaigns to add similar taxes to SSBs. Uh… what are they? Sugar Sweetened Beverages. Seems like folk are getting a crazy amount of their calories from SSBs, and so taking lessons from the tobacco arena, public health folk are starting to push excise taxes for SSBs. While it seems like a small bit of the overall obesity epidemic, apparently SSBs are a pretty large lever to create some change.

DNPAO? Worst acronym ever!

But I gotta say one thing, the nutrition and exercise folks need some acronym help! DNPAO <- what in the world does that mean? Wait wait… people tell me it’s Diet Nutrition Physical Activity Obesity. Oh yah that rolls off the tongue. But then, being part of the LGBTQQIA block, um, I guess I can’t really be the one to register the complaint.

Working on Wellness? We want you too!

With Healthcare Reform and this recent $650M of state stimulus money on Wellness the feds put out, the emphasis on Wellness is only going to increase in the coming years. Which as public health folk, I’m sure we all will love. Face it, there’s something comforting about working on a prevention-based model, instead of our usual uh-oh-look-what-kinda-disasterous-effects-years-of bad-health-creates model. (<- I believe that’s its formal name) But – there’s no LGBT network for wellness (yet!). So… we really wanna link up these wellness folk too and help connect them with the LGBT experts like we do for tobacco. You can see the picture up there of the sign I just tacked on my bike that this conference, me shamelessly using the bike to try to get the attention of the state Wellness policymakers here. Cause come on everyone, this $650M of Wellness money alone means there’s big new projects in every single state, and we definitely want these folk to be including LGBT outreach and programs in those projects. I mean, especially if it’s all about policy these days, don’t tell me LGBTs don’t have deep policy inroads in every single state. (can you say civil rights battles?)

And hurry up already!

Ya know. I’m thinking about this new nutrition, exercise, and tobacco mix, and I’m thinking hmmmm… I’m the Director of the Network for LGBT Tobacco Control, and I’ve worked hard to get myself a kit where I can take my folding bike everywhere I go. Take it off the luggage carousel, take it outta the bag, put the bag on back and roll right away from the airport. Why? Well, main reason I usually give is that it’s near impossible to eat in hotels. As a vegetarian, you put me in a hotel and I’m stuck with white pasta and salads until I can get free and go get my own food. Of course, I also love my biking, it makes me happy. (don’t even ask me how many bikes I have). But so… let’s see, healthy eating, exercise and tobacco all rolled into one ball? Like maybe I could go to a meeting, get some vegetarian food at the hotel, find a bike lane on the street, and have it be in a tobacco-free city? Yes siree, let’s hurry up and get this work integrated everywhere! It’s a natural fit, and I’ve been waiting a long time for it.


National Networks Meeting, Best & Promising Practices

What is the definition of a Promising Practice or Best Practices? If you ask 100 people this same question you might just get 100 different responses. We might see common themes but overall depending on the institution the definitions vary. With that being said how do we create a common strategy or process for National Networks to develop Best and Promising Practices?

As disparity Networks we are charged to create lasting change for our communities and how we showcase the work we are doing differs. TheNational Networks will be working together to streamline the way we create and disseminate Best and Promising Practices as Networks. We will be sure to update you as we progress and keep you posted with the strategies we create.  It looks like it will be a long journey but there is hopes to have this set within the next 6 months or so stay tuned!

More to come soon,


Program Manager